I was doing my regular weekend laundry marathon. I checked the pockets of my child’s pants and found something unfamiliar to me. So I asked where it came from. “I don’t know. . .the ground. . .I think it was. . .” After pressing some more, the truth came out. My child had found it and wanted it and took it.
My laundry was then interrupted to have a lesson about what the Bible says about wanting and taking and stealing and lying and what our hearts need to be focused on and forgiveness. In the end my child wrote a letter to the person who was missing an object, admitting what had been done, acknowledging it was not the right thing to do, apologizing and promising it wouldn’t happen again. The object was returned in the letter.
And then my child did a pretty amazing thing (in my humble opinion, anyway). My child admitted to doing something similar and wanted to fix that situation too, instead of leaving it as a “wrong-doing.” Another letter was written, admitting what had been done, acknowledging it was not the right thing to do, apologizing and promising it wouldn’t happen again. And of course, the object was returned in the letter.
And then I gave my child a big hug. I said I had been so disappointed in the decisions that were made to do wrong, but now it all seemed to be turned around. Now I was proud of the recognition of the wrong and the want—the need—to fix it and make things right again.
My husband, watching the whole thing, later told me that he liked how I handled it. He said that for most people an insignificant object like the one found in my child’s pants pockets probably would have been tossed aside by most. He said he appreciated how I took an opportunity to take the “little” sins and even try to teach the good in those—the ones that are often just overlooked. I said I was just hoping that our kids would turn out to love, respect and serve God for the rest of their lives, and that I hoped I was teaching it well enough. Because to be honest, I was kind of crushed. I didn’t want to be that mom having the stealing and lying talk with my child that night. I would have much rather been the one celebrating the good things: the accomplishments, the achievements, the triumphs.
Maybe God needed to remind me what my job was as a mom, because the next morning, my other child came out of the room with a little paper she had been working on.
Oh, did my heart want to burst! So we typed it out, added a clip art and made it pretty to hang up and be a reminder. And now if I walk into the child’s room, I get to see this reminder too. . .that those crushing moments are teachable moments. . .and I better make the most of them. I guess I’m just going to keep hoping that in whatever I come across, I will be teaching our kids to love, respect and serve God for the rest of their lives.